The Yes List: The War Over a Fashion Muse
Each week, The Daily Beast scours the cultural landscape to choose three top picks. This week, two biographies celebrating a fashion icon, the latest Harry Potter installment, and Tom Wolfe and Patti Smith party the night away.
Isabella Blow Starts a Feud
November saw the release of one biography of Cleopatra, ancient Egypt's deathless heroine, and two of Isabella Blow, a flamboyant British fashion muse best known to the wider world for her baggy eyes, whimsical hats, and the chain-mail headpiece she wore to her wedding. Blow committed suicide in 2007 at the age of 48. It's a testament to her enduring fabulosity—and to the oddities of the publishing business—that both of these books not only exist, rushed to press and released on the same day, with the same cover image, but also that their authors are at war. The Daily Beast’s Rebecca Dana talks to the writers about their catty feud.
The Literati Party Down
The publishing world came out to celebrate the National Book Awards this week, and the partying didn’t stop until the wee hours of the morning. Tina Brown awarded the always-dapper Tom Wolfe the Outstanding Contribution of American Letters award, praising him for his ability for reinvention. The surprise of the night was rocker-writer Patti Smith taking home the award for Best Nonfiction for her memoir Just Kids. Her tearful acceptance speech was a highlight, writes Alice Gregory, as she begged the tuxedo-clad crowd to never abandon books, for “there is nothing more beautiful in our material world.” Read a recap and view party photos.
Harry Potter Grows Up
Many of Harry’s biggest fans have probably already hit a midnight screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but for the few novices who still exist, The Daily Beast’s Alex Berg rounded up the key moments from the franchise for your viewing pleasure. From surviving muggles to defeating the Dark Lord, watch video—and, more importantly, catch up—on the most important scenes from the wizarding world.